Associate Professor CHRIS O'NEILL's laboratory studies the control of mammalian fertilization and early embryo development and reproductive endocrinology. Current projects concern: the role of autocrine factors in the induction of sperm capacitation (induction of sperm fertility); regulation of expression of essential embryonic growth factors, the mechanisms of signal transduction in early embryos; control of gene transcription in the early embryo; the role of proto-oncogenes in regulating the embryo cell-cycle and induction of apoptosis; and the regulation of release of vasoactive agents from the uterus and their role in normal establishment of pregnancy.

The effect of assisted reproductive technologies (such as IVF) on these basic physiological processes are also examined. Techniques include, embryo collection and culture; in vitro fertilization; tissue culture; embryo micromanipulation; PCR and reverse transcriptase PCR; real-time fluorescence imaging of cellular events, gene transfection, immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy and antisense technology.


Cellular Physiology

Research Information

The Human Reproduction Units major research interests are on the molecular regulation of fertilization, early embryo development and the maternal recognition of pregnancy. A major focus is the functional genomic analysis of the regulatory processes in these events. As well as studying the basic physiology of these processes, a significant emphasis of our research is to understand the impact of assisted reproductive technologies (such as in vitro fertilization and embryo cloning) on the normal molecular regulation of these processes.

Recent Publications

Emerson, M. Travis, A.R. Bathgate, R. Stojanov, T. Cook, D.I. Harding, E. Lu, D.P and O誰eill, C. (2000) Characterization and Functional Significance of Calcium Transients in the 2-cell Mouse Embryo Induced by an Autocrine Growth Factor. Journal of Biological Chemistry 275: 21905-21913.

Chami, O. Megevand, A. Ott, T. Bazer, F. O誰eill, C. (1999) PAF is an endogenous pulse-generator of luteolytic PGF2? release Am. J. Physiol 276(4 Pt 1):E783-E792

Stojanov, T. and O誰eill C. (1999) Ontogeny of expression of a receptor for platelet-activating factor in mouse preimplantation embryos and the effects of fertilisation and culture in vitro. Biology of Reproduction 60, 674-682

Stojanov, T. Alechna, S. and O誰eill C. (1999) In vitro fertilization and culture of embryos in vitro significantly retards the onset of synthesis of IGF-II ligand from the zygotic genome. Molecular Human Reproduction 5(2):116-24.

O誰eill, C. (1998) Role of autocrine mediators in the regulation of embryo-viability:  - lessons from animal models. J. Assisted Reproduction and Genetics Invited Reveiw. 15(8): 460-465)

O誰eill, C. (1998) Autocrine mediators are required to act on the embryo by the 2-cell stage to promote normal development and survival of mouse preimplantation embryos in vitro. Biology of Reproduction 56, 1303-1309.

O誰eill, C. (1998) Endogenous folic acid is essential for normal development of preimplantation embryos. Human Reproduction 13: 1312-1316

Moon, E.A. and O誰eill, C. (1997) CTP:phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase activity in the preimplantation embryo. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility 110, 213-218.

Tian, L. Catt, J.W. O誰eill, C. and King, N.J.C. (1997) Expression of Ig-superfamily cell adhesion molecules on murine embryonic stem cells. Biology of Reproduction. 57, 561-568.

Ammit, A.J. and O誰eill, C. (1997) Studies of the nature of the binding by albumin of platelet-activating factor released from cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 272, 18772-78.

Ammit, A.J. and O誰eill, C. (1997) Optimization of a method for deactivation of platelet-activating factor:acetylhydrolase in serum for use in IVF culture media. Human Reproduction 12, 785-791.

Ammit, A.J. and O誰eill, C. (1997) The role of albumin in the release of platelet-activating factor by murine preimplantation embryos in vitro. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility 109, 309-318.

O誰eill, C. (1997) Evidence for the requirement of autocrine growth factors for development of mouse preimplantation embryos in vitro. Biology of Reproduction  56, 229-237.

O誰eill, C. (1997) PAF promotes the development of the preimplantation embryo. Advances in Experimental Medicine & Biology 416: 255-261.

Ammit, A.J. and O誰eill, C. (1997) PAF released by preimplantation embryos binds to albumin. Advances in Experimental Medicine & Biology. 416: 263-267.

Battye, K.M., Evans, G. and O誰eill, C. (1996) The ovine endometrium synthesizes and releases platelet-activating factor which can cause the release of prostaglandinF2? by the uterus in situ. Biology of Reproduction 54, 355-363

Singh, J. O誰eill, C. and Handelsman, D.J. (1995) Induction of spermatogenesis by androgens in gonadotrophin-deficient (hpg) mice. Endocrinology. 136, 5311-5321

Roberts, C.R. and O誰eill, C. (1995) Increase in the rate of diploidy with maternal age in unfertilised IVF oocytes. Human Reproduction. 10, 2139-2141.

Catt ,J. Ryan, J. Pike, I. O'Neill, C. and Saunders, D.M. (1995) Clinical ICSI results from Royal North Shore Hospital. Reproduction Fertility and Development 7, 255-262

Catt, J. and O誰eill, C. (1995) Manipulation of sperm before intracytoplasmic sperm injection improves fertilisation rates. Fertility and Sterility 64, 1210-1212.

Catt, J. Ryan, J. Pike, I. O'Neill, C. (1995) Fertilisation rates using intracytoplasmic sperm injection are greater than subzonal insemination but are dependent on prior treatment of sperm. Fertility and Sterility 64: 764-769.

O誰eill, C. (1995) The activity of platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase in the mouse uterus during the estrus cycle, the preimplantation phase of pregnancy and through-out the luteal phase of pseudopregnancy. Biology of Reproduction 52, 965-971

O誰eill, C. (1995) Platelet-activating factor antagonists reduce implantation in mice at low doses only. Reproduction Fertility and Development 7, 51-58

Wells, X. and O誰eill, C. (1994) Detection and preliminary characterisation of two enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of platelet activating-factor in mouse oocytes, zygotes and preimplantation embryos: dithiotreitol-insensitive cytidinediphosphocholine: 1-0-alkyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol cholinephosphotransferase and acetyl-coenzyme A:1-o-alkyl-2-lyso-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine acetyltransferase. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility 101, 385-391

O誰eill,C. (1994) The Biochemistry of Prostaglandins: A Primer. Australian and  New Zealand Journal Obstetrics and Gynaecology 34, 332-337

Stein, B.A. and O'Neill C.(1994) Morphometric evidence of changes in the vasculature of the uterine tube of mice induced by the 2-cell embryo on the second day of pregnancy. Journal of Anatomy 185, 397-403.

Catt, J. Krzyminska, U. Tilia, L. Csehi, E. Ryan, J. Pike, I. and O'Neill, C. (1994) Subzonal insertion of multiple sperm is a treatment for male factor infertility. Fertility and  Sterility 61, 118-24

O'Neill, C. Ryan, J.P. Catt, J.W. Pike,I.L. and Krzyminska,U.B. (1994) Injection of multiple sperm into the perivitelline space as a treatmnet of male infertility. Reproduction Fertility and Development 6, 51-6

Roberts, C. Wright, L. and O'Neill, C. (1993) Platelet activating factor enhances mitosis in preimplantation mouse embryos. Reproduction Fertility and Development 5, 271-9

Kojima, T. Hinds, L.A. Muller, W.J. O'Neill, C. Tyndale-Biscoe, C.H. (1993) Production and secretion of progesterone in vitro and presence of platelet activating factor (PAF) in early pregnancy of the marsupial, Macropus eugenii. Reproduction Fertility Development 5, 15-27

Battye, K.M. Parkinson, T.J. Jenner, L. Evans, G. O'Neill, C. and Lamming, G.E. (1992) Potential synergism between Platelet activating factor and bovine ?1- recombinant interferon act in promoting the function of the corpus luteum in the ewe. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility 97, 21-26

Battye, K.M. O'Neill, C. and Evans, G. (1992) Evidence that platelet-activating factor suppresses uterine oxytocin- induced 13,14-dihydro-15-keto-prostaglandin F-2? release and phosphatidylinositol hydrolysis in the ewe. Biology of Reproduction. 47, 213-219.

Ammit, A.J. Wells, X.E. and O'Neill C. (1992) Structural heterogeneity of platelet-activating factor produced by murine pre-embryos. Human Reproduction 7, 865-870.

Wells, X. and O'Neill, C. (1992) The biosynthesis of PAF by the two-cell mouse embryo. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility  96,61-71

O'Neill, C. Ryan, J.P. Collier, M. Saunders, D.M. Ammit, A.J. and Pike, I.L. (1992) The outcome of pregnancies resulting from a trial of supplementing human IVF media with platelet activating factor. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 4, 109-12

Saunders,D.M. Porter,R.N. Krzyminska, U.B. O'Neill,C. Ward,J.L. Robinson, B.G. and Hyland,V. (1992) Sperm micro-injection twins: Deoxyribonucleic acid fingerprinting. Fertility and Sterility. 57, 1347-1348

Krzyminska, U.B. Leung, P. O'Neill, C. and Pike IL (1992) Microinsemination by sperm transfer. Lancet, i 375.

Ryan JP, Ammit AJ, Roberts CG, and O'Neill C (1992) Metabolic and developmental responses of preimplantation embryos to platelet activating factor (PAF). Reproduction, Fertility and Development 4:387-389.

O'Neill, C. (1992) Embryo-derived platelet-activating factor. Reproduction Fertility and Development 4: 283-288.

O誰eill C.The Actions of platelet-activating-factor (PAF) in the establishment of mammalian pregnancy.(1992)  pp 59-82. Ed. L. Gianaroli, A. Campana, and Trounson, A.O.  In: Implantation in Mammals. Serono Symposia Publications from Raven Press  Volume 91, New York.

  •  Current Personnel
  • Associate Professor Chris O'Neill
    Human Reproduction Unit
    Royal North Shore Hospital
    Phone: (office) 9926 7148
           (Lab)    9926 7738
    Fax: 9906 1872